Biking for fun of it

Published 12:57 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Opp native Allen Scofield picked up bicycling in April to improve his health. Now he does it for fun, and has become a bike enthusiast.

Opp native Allen Scofield took up biking to improve his health, and two months later, he’s loving every single minute he’s on the road and trail.

About two months ago in April, Scofield went to the doctor for his annual health screen he is required to have as a dispatcher with the Andalusia Police Department.

While there, the doctor asked him if he did any cardiovascular exercises, or if he went to the gym.

“I have a USA Gym membership, and he told me to get some cardio in there,” Scofield said. “He told me to do the treadmill, bicycle, whatever.”

Tucked away in Scofield’s back shed was an old 10-speed mountain bike that he fixed.

“Of course, the first few times you get out on it, when you haven’t ridden a bike for a while, you’re going to pay,” Scofield said. “After a few times, I realized I’d just rather do it for the heck of it. I enjoy it now.”

A month after he started cycling, Scofield was sticking with it and he bought a new bike — a 21-speed DBX Resonance 26-inch mountain bike. It’s the same kind of bike as his old bike, but a newer model, he said. He’s outfitted his new bike with a cycle computer for keeping track of total miles, trip miles, time and calories burned. Additionally, he has a rear-view mirror when riding on the road as well as lights on the front and back when needed.

As of Friday morning, Scofield said he timed his best ride at one hour and 15 minutes on a 16.53-mile ride.

“My fastest time around the Opp bypass so far,” he said.

As of Friday’s ride, Scofield had ridden 366 total miles since he started in April.

One day when he’s ready, Scofield said he’s going to ride from Opp to Andalusia, which is about a 30-mile round-trip stretch.

“I just hadn’t done that yet — I haven’t had time,” he said. “The farthest I’ve gone is 17 and a half miles in one trip. That was from my house in the middle of Opp all the way up North Main Street, past the trade school all the way back around the West side, which is this side, and back to my house.”

While it started out for his health, bike riding has evolved into something so much more, he said.

“I ride almost every day, and I have integrated the ride into my mornings so it has become a habit,” Scofield said. “If I don’t get to ride, I feel like I missed something. I really enjoy being out on the road or trails, and it’s a great way to start the day.”

Scofield said he’s not alone typically on some bike rides. He said he rides with a lot of his friends from the county, and his nephew, Jamie Bess of Opp.

“I’ve gotten into the fun part of it and where I enjoy it more,” Scofield said.

Scofield said he wants to try and bike an event in Montgomery, where the trek is 30 miles.

“I’m working on it,” he said.

While he doesn’t have a long-term goal, Scofield said he just wants to remain “fit.”

“I just want to be one fit 45-year-old,” he said.

Scofield has been married for 16 years, to wife, Pam. He’s been a dispatcher for a total of 10 years.